The Internal Revenue Service scandal would be bad enough if the IRS just handled issues like collecting income taxes and granting nonprofit status. But the immensely powerful federal agency is about to become even more powerful with the arrival of national health care, and that makes the still-unfolding scandal even more troubling.
“When I hold town meetings, a great deal of distrust comes through about the size and increasing power of government,” says Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. “The IRS targeting crystallizes that distrust in a very big way because of the IRS’ reach into taxpayer information. What’s happened heightens fears about how the IRS will handle taxpayer information and wield its power when it enforces Obamacare starting next year.”
The IRS is critical to Obamacare. The structure created by the Affordable Care Act requires the government to know about both the health care coverage (or lack of it) and the financial resources of every American. The IRS, which already knows the latter, was the only agency with the reach to do the job.